June 26, 2021

For a Fox Can Weep, by Carmen Redondo

Editor’s note: Oh the travails of a lonely fox! This unique fable really involves the emotions. We brought you this magical story on a Saturday, because we’ve got lots of great material these days. Enjoy!

Mackson was a fox who wanted nothing more than to share his life with a vixen he could call his wife. He had little friends, relying on the company of Veslorm, the wise owl.  


One evening Mackson went outside to sit by the river and observe the stars. His ears twitched to the side as he heard a tree branch rustle beside him. Mackson glanced up and saw that Veslorm had landed in a nearby tree.  


Veslorm ruffled his feathers. “The forest is too quiet tonight, and I am rather bored. To pass the time I came to see how you were.” 


Mackson responded with a grave voice. “Speaking honestly Veslorm, each day I find it very difficult to live without a wife I can love.”  


“My friend,” began the owl, “I have a possible solution for you. You may not like it though, for it involves the help of an herbalist.” 

Mackson turned to look at the owl. “Are you speaking of Lady Fazena, the only human who lives in the forest? Many believe she is a witch.”   


“Witch or not,” responded Veslorm, “She deals with salves and potions. Mackson, I believe she could help you. I do offer a warning. If you go, be cautious of her words. I must be leaving now, for I am very hungry.”  


The next day the fox walked at a fast pace, the fur on the back of his neck standing on end with anticipation. Mackson finally arrived at his destination. The herbalist’s house seemed to be made out of forest ivy.  


“Lady Fazena! If I may call upon you, I am Mackson, a forest fox.”  


The ivy parted and revealed an entrance. Mackson took a deep breath and went inside. What he saw was curious, a house filled with strange objects he had never seen before.  


Sitting near a warm fireplace was a slender woman. She had long auburn hair that fell around her in a waterfall of ringlets against her pale skin. Her dress was the same enchanting color of her hair. She turned around to look at the fox, stood, and smiled kindly, yet with an evasive touch. 


“Welcome, Mackson the fox. What may I do for you?” 


“I would like,” he began nervously, “To have a wife.” 

Fazena laughed, “But you are a handsome fox. I should think you do not need my assistance in finding a companion.”  


He continued explaining. “It is not so simple. There are no females that remain unwed.”  


“I see. If this is the case, I can help you, but I need something from you.” 


She suddenly cut a small patch of his fur and put the hairs in a pot that was boiling with a few twigs of rosemary and tarragon.  


“Now,” she sang, “This is for you.” 


Fazena clapped her hands as a golden locket with a matching chain appeared out of thin air. She placed it on the floor in front of the fox.  


“Excuse me madam, but what is this?”  


“A love locket. Your future bride will arrive tomorrow morning. Put this jewel around her neck as a sign of commitment. This will be proof that you care about her. If you require nothing else from me, leave, for I am busy.”  


He thanked her several times and took the necklace between his teeth. Once outside he ran to his home, not glancing behind him.  


As soon as the sun appeared the next day a beautiful vixen was standing by the log where he usually rested during the day. She said her name was Ofenta, and the next several days passed as if in a dream.

One evening they shared their first kiss, and he knew that his heart would always be hers. He ran to his home and returned with the locket.  


Speaking with joy he asked, “My dearest Ofenta, will you be my wife?”  


“Of course, Mackson. I would like nothing more.”  


He placed the locket around her neck, and she vanished, the necklace landing on the floor. Panicking, he ran in the direction of Lady Fazena’s house. 


Once there he yelled, “Lady Fazena, let me in!”   


The ivy parted as before. Pacing, he explained everything, feeling an unsteady dread. When he finished speaking the witch laughed. 


“Oh Mackson,” she mocked with a fierce smile, “Her disappearance was all part of the potion. She would have been by your side forever if you had not given her the locket. It was a way to test your self-confidence. Now farewell fox, you will not find me again.”  


She disappeared. Mackson stood breathing heavily with rage. He ran back to the locket, where it laid motionless on the grass. His anger was replaced by a deep melancholy. Mackson started crying endless tears. For a fox can weep, just as much as anyone else. The tears continued, creating a puddle on the grass. 

As this happened, his eyes lost their orange color and were replaced by a dark gray. Mackson collapsed as his heart stopped beating. For a fox can also die of a broken heart. Next to his lifeless body, the puddle glowed with the color his eyes once had, turning into amber. 


For some say that amber comes from tree resin, but in truth it was born from the tears of a fox that could not live without his one true love.


This story was brought to you by Lorraine Schein, one of our very generous patrons. Without donations like Lorraine’s, we can’t keep EC going as a place for many new tales and poems. Please become a patron. You can learn more here.


Bio: Carmen Redondo loves fantasy and fairy tales, which are elements she often includes in her writing. She loves reading books and watching movies. You can follow Carmen on Twitter: @storieswriting. You can purchase a book that includes two of her short stories here: https://amzn.to/2TP0z0L


Image from Pixabay.


Carmen said...

I'm so excited to be featured in Enchanted Conversation. My fairy tales were published in this online magazine for the first time in 2019, and it feels amazing to be back with another original fairy tale. Thank you so much!!

Lissa Sloan said...

Oh, so sad! Lovely story!

story.maker@yahoo.com said...

This took a turn I didn't expect. Lovely and satisfying.

Carmen said...

Thank you so much, I appreciate it!

Carmen said...

I'm glad you enjoyed reading my story!